A package should save
more than it costs.

It all started in the 1940s, with the search for a better way to package milk.

Something that could protect what was inside—and the people who drank it—by keeping it safe and stable, even when refrigeration wasn’t available. Something efficient, with a minimized impact on the environment.

“Doing something that nobody else had done before is actually quite hard.”

Founder of Tetra Pak

What we set out to do had never been done, and it took a decade of development to create the first paper-based package that could do what we had in mind. Even the way we planned to fill it (and keep it safe, healthy, and free of bacteria in the process) presented a puzzle that eventually became one of our hallmarks.

Our aseptic cartons were considered one of the most important food innovations of the 20th century.

It was an enormous challenge. But it’s how we created the first Tetra Pak carton package, the distinctive tetrahedron-shaped packaging that inspired our name with its simple, efficient design.

For over half a century, we’ve been creating carton packaging that can safely and sustainably hold liquid food—including milk, of course—to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people every day.

Today, we’re able to get food to people everywhere, protecting them by protecting what’s inside, with only minimal impact on our environment.

At Tetra Pak, we protect what’s good.

We still abide by our founding philosophy, the idea that packaging should save more—food and resources—than it costs. It's a way of thought that matters even more today than when we started
out—and one which will matter even more tomorrow.

Tetra Pak isn’t the only one protecting what’s good.

All over the world, people are hard at work in small ways on the things that matter to all of us most, from the environment around us to the food that fuels us.

They’re changing how we raise, consume, and think about food, how we care for ourselves and our resources, and they’re sharing the kind of ideas that will change our future for the better.

They’re doing it at the grassroots, quietly and without fanfare.

We’re sharing their stories.

At Groundwork, we’re giving them the attention they deserve: yours. We’re sharing their stories so you can, too.

It’s just one small way you can make an impact. Because when it comes to innovation, inspiration, and changing the world, sometimes one good idea, shared, is all it takes.

Spread the word.

Know someone who’s doing their part to change our world from the ground up?

Give our editors the heads up

These paperboard cartons
are a big deal.

When Dr. Ruben Rausing invented a new way to package milk, he probably didn’t realize he’d just changed the world.

It didn’t take long to figure out that these cartons were perfect for packaging more than milk. Today, airtight, shelf-stable Tetra Pak® cartons are used around the world to keep juice, water, soup, olive oil, nutritional shakes, vegetables, and more safe and sound.

So how does it work?

Tetra Pak cartons use multiple layers of materials to ensure nothing gets in or out of the package. The cartons are made mostly of paperboard, with thin layers of plastic and aluminum working together to keep light, oxygen, and bacteria out, meaning no contamination and no preservatives needed. Ever.


By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.

When it comes to packaging materials, these cartons keep it to a minimum.

In fact, Tetra Pak cartons have a better package-to-product ratio than an egg. By using just the right amount of material, Tetra Pak can ensure maximum product protection while using minimal resources.

Cartons help protect more than just our foods.

Protecting our environment, our food sources, and our natural resources is an essential part of preserving our shared future. That’s why Tetra Pak is committed to using renewable materials—natural resources that replenish over time—and meeting environmentally friendly manufacturing standards.

100% of the paperboard in Tetra Pak cartons is Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certified, meaning all of it can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.

And after they’ve been recycled, the cartons can be turned into tissue, paper products, and green building materials.

By using sustainably sourced, renewable materials, Tetra Pak cartons are protecting our foods, preserving our natural resources, and promoting environmentally conscious practices.

To learn more about cartons, click here.


The Art of Recycling

Ellen Callaway’s Recycled Beauty series shows the world just how beautiful recycling can be.

% of total waste
recycled in America:
Waste produced daily by the average American:
4.4 lbs.
Waste dumped annually worldwide:
2.12 billion tons
Brought to you by:

Too much trash. Not enough action.
We know to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper. Or at least, we know we should. In spite of that, in 2014 the average American threw away 4.4 pounds of trash daily. That adds up, nationwide, to 258 million tons of waste.

A new photo campaign, Recycled Beauty, is aiming to reduce that number to zero by building awareness and changing how we see (and talk about) waste and recycling.


Could seeing something differently help us do something differently?
A food and product photographer by trade, Ellen Callaway has always been concerned about environmental issues and, specifically, her own personal impact on the planet.

After joining her local recycling committee in Arlington, Massachusetts and researching various industry recycling practices and methods of waste diversion—the process of diverting waste from landfills—she realized that what needed to change was, at least in part, how recycling was portrayed.

Recycled Beauty visually connects the dots of the circular economy on the consumer level.”

Ellen Callaway
Creator of Recycled Beauty

Consumers had some visibility into the process, but Callaway knew style—even a degree of art direction—could help make a difference.

“As a photographer, I’m looking at different websites for environmental waste diversion, and everything is either stock photography or on-camera flash,” says Callaway, “and [I’m] thinking there has to be a way to make it a little bit more engaging, but also more understandable, because the subtle nuances of upper waste diversion can be extremely confusing.”

Featured Exhibit

Recycled Beauty

The world of recycling isn’t always pretty. American photographer Ellen Callaway is setting out to change that.

E-Waste Grid

Separate Materials

Frozen Compost

Sneakers' VPR

Broken Stryofoam is A-Okay

Putting the Cap on Recycling

Salvaging Dishwater

Compost Timeline

By using the same techniques that make the color and textures of food pop on the page, each piece in her Recycled Beauty series becomes as eye-catching and heroic as an ad in a magazine. The result turns recycling into its own glamorized advertising campaign, building a conscious and emotional connection between consumers and the task at hand.

Callaway’s art is inspiring people
to start the conversation
and take action.

Other artists are contributing their crafts to the cause, too.
Bewildering, evocative and, well, beautiful, Recycled Beauty is just one of many recent attempts to examine the problems affecting our environment.

From 20th-century photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams to contemporary figures like Callaway and American conceptual artist Mark Dion, artists have long held a fascination and deep respect for our planet—and the materials we introduce into it.

Art has the ability
to promote the challenges
concerning our planet.

Through aesthetic appeal, art can convey awareness or understanding against sometimes over-complicated statistics or articles, and effectively encourage the public to act (or at the very least take notice).

Recycled Beauty is changing the environmental industry.
By changing how the public digests information about recycling, Recycled Beauty plays an important role in the fight to reduce our environmental impact and, one day, to zero waste.

Today, the project is inspiring several companies and municipalities to illustrate their sustainable efforts through captivating visuals. Part of the series is currently being licensed by a Connecticut municipality, the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA), to assist in waste diversion education.

Looking forward, Callaway hopes to further expand Recycled Beauty’s reach. Who is she hoping to reach?

“Anyone—from the janitors of the world to the CEOs; anyone that’s a consumer. I’d like to downplay it to be a more general, open communication. I’d like for the masses to be seeing it.”


Brought to you by We make food & beverage cartons that protect what's good by keeping the food inside them safe and sound. Recyclable and made with renewable materials, every single carton is part of our groundwork for a shared, healthier future. Learn more

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